You’ve heard the rumors before: The New York Knicks plan to make a run at Kyrie Irving in free agency after the 2018-19 season.
But apparently, they’re really going for it.
Speaking on NBC Sports Chicago’s “Bulls Talk” podcast Wednesday, NBC Sports Boston’s A. Sherrod Blakely put the Knicks’ interest in Irving into perspective.
“I can tell you right now, the New York Knicks, he is their No. 1 target,” Blakely said.
“I’ve spoken with people within that organization. They have made it absolutely crystal clear to me that, if they had their pick of guys that are going to be in the free agent market (next) summer, Kyrie would be their first, second, third and fourth choice.”
For context, the 2019 free agent class will include the likes of Kevin Durant, Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler in addition to Irving, who is under contract until 2020 but has an opt-out clause for 2019. But Durant doesn’t sound like he’s leaving the Golden State Warriors anytime soon, while Leonard reportedly is fixated on Los Angeles if he bails on Toronto.
The Knicks are Irving’s hometown team — he grew up in West Orange, N.J. — and should have the cap space to pursue the All-Star guard and potentially pair him with Butler, his USA Basketball pal.
Of course, Irving joining New York would mean him leaving a great situation with the Celtics, who are expected to contend for an NBA championship this season with Gordon Hayward returning and should be very good for a very long time.
The 26-year-old has left all opportunities on the table, though, so C’s fans may want to brace for a nail-biting offseason.
Thumbnail photo via Brad Penner/USA TODAY Sports Images